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Well Stan ... you hit the head on the nail (my fave cliche - wrong side)!Part of the problem is that the powers (government, sponsors, commercial entities) that be, do not show their support for the arts, thereby giving it an ignorant face (I mean, ignoring the fact that art exists in St Lucia).And of course, the whole arts and culture in St Lucia is usually treated as a hobby, and not an INDUSTRY. I have a BIG PROBLEM with that.It is unfortunate that some performers suffer under the "yoke" of a cheap hotel and cruise ship industry (or as in some cases, under cut other performers by offering their services cheaper!). This action, of course, borders on disrespect of St Lucia's visual, theatrical and performing arts. Then "Joe Public" perceives this business as "cheap"!The instruments, materials and time of art does not come cheap - AT ALL!! Our artisans need to be educated on the cost of time, and cost of materials to make a living from a VERY VIABLE industry!!WHEN? WHEN will they wake up?
Very good observations re Derek Walcott, McDonald Dixon, what was then and is, or isn't now.Regards a $20 entrance fee being what may have put off patrons; I'd like to think that was a sarcastic remark, but know better. Yup, we'll pay $80, $100, $150 to see Jamaican Dance Hall or American R&B, but not $20 to see our own s..t. And as you so rightly put it, our own include some excellent artistes in all genres - despite the lack of support, lack or arts education etc. Imagine what the industry could produce with support. Imagine the income the country could earn. Imagine the improvement to our lifestyles and to the offering for tourism.Personally, I like the idea of the occasional free show - that's always needed, but I've always been against the concept that we must make our arts free in order to get people to see it. No. If we do that, all we get them to see is that it is not worth paying for to them. There's a concept or practice called 'audience development' it's a process of interaction and dialogue which builds a paying audience for your art offerings. perhaps that should be added to the CDF's programme list for if and when they find the funding to do their work.
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